Friday, March 25, 2016


Point of view in the context of a dramatic screenplay is a matter of perceptual and emotional emphasis. It is the emotional context in which the action finds its meaning. It involves choices, beliefs, opinions and the lived drama of a character grappling with the central problem of the story.

- Billy Marshall Stoneking

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


From the perspective of many Australian screenwriters, pitching can be a rather dreaded and unnerving activity. The idea of fronting up to someone and telling them how great one's story is can seem at times downright unAustralian, or worse, decidedly American. The character of the snake-oil salesman doesn't sit well with a lot of Australian writers. The diffidence with which one navigates the cool hipness of the so-called film scene frequently conspires against the expression of genuine emotion or personal commitment. 

A script or story idea may have much to recommend it, but if the screenwriter, director or producer is unable for whatever reason to imaginatively and succinctly conduct the listener/investor/production company into the core emotional experience that the film offers, the script or project may never have its time in the sun.

The first and most important thing you need to understand is that you are NOT selling a script - or rather a collection of words ABOUT a script; you are selling a character - and that CHARACTER is YOURSELF.   


Writing is more auditory than anyone who is not a writer thinks. It is all about hearing voices, and discriminating between voices. The voice is the embodiment of the emotions, especially when one is working with characters - it comes from the mouths of the characters and enters through the ears of the writer, like music. Any screenwriter worth a damn understands this, because this is how the writing happens, this is the basis of the writer’s relationship with the characters - VOICES.

In a world that prizes silence as much as this one does, in a world that doesn’t fully comprehend the presence and involvement of disembodied voices in the creative process, such a notion is pure madness. However, if the writer is to break through s/he must eschew the likely ridicule of closed minds and fearful attitudes, and claim all the voices that inhabit the story that is trying to get itself born.

- Billy Marshall Stoneking

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

10 OF THE BEST - Selected by Maya Newell

Filmmaker Maya Newell has certainly had a busy year, with the release of her debut feature documentary, Gayby Baby, garnering international headlines for its unique look at Australian kids being raised by same-sex parents. 
The film observes the daily life of "gaybies" (like herself) growing up in Australia. We see the specific challenges they face at school and on the street, along with the everyday moments that are typical of families the world over. You can watch Gayby Baby on at SBS On Demand now.   
We invited Maya Newell to dive into the catalogue of movies and documentaries at SBS On Demand, and recommend her Top Ten. (Click on the yellow SBS On Demand logo to access the video.)   READ MORE

Sunday, March 6, 2016


For your screenplay to be any good you have to find a way of turning it into a life and death experience. It must become a necessity for life itself, like food, like shelter, like movement. For your screenplay to have any chance of being born and going out into the world and changing people, it must first of all challenge you, the writer, at your core. It must do so with all the power of its voice and voices. It must speak to you. And what it says must surprise, threaten, inspire and humble you all at the same time. For a screenplay to tell the story that is the reason for its existence in the first place, it must possess a worthiness that encourages those who come in contact with it to surrender to its emotional body. It must create a dance, a tango, that draws from an ancient, eternal music, a rhythm and closeness that is undeniable.

- Billy Marshall Stoneking


Friday, March 4, 2016


Listen, when we are born, we are born a Buddha, a genius. Every one of us. In the belly of the mother, the family start to change you. The family. The family gives all the psychological limits they have to you. Then you go to school, society will limit you. Then you are in a country, culture will limit you. Family, social, culture. And there is historical limits. But they are limits. You are living in limits. In reality we are infinite, we don’t have limits. And ALL the fight of life, the opening of consciousness, is to open the limits of your family, of your society and your history cultural. In order to realize yourself what you are, who you are, you need to decide to be what you are and not what the others want you to be. They want you to be something. And you want to be yourself. But you may not be what the other want you to be.

Alejandro Jodorowsky